Lego debuts social community before Mindstorms EV3 launch

The new Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit won’t be released until this weekend, but in preparation Lego today launched a robotics-focused social community and three free Mindstorms apps.

The social community, which can be accessed at, lets users post robot creations and like and follow other builders. There’s also a game to introduce new users to programming basics, and a new feature that makes it possible to view interactive 3-D building instructions directly in a browser via Autodesk technology.

The new apps are called “Robot Commander,” “3D Builder” and “Fix the Factory.” The Robot Commander app makes use makes use of the EV3’s new iOS and Android compatibility, transforming smartphones and tablets into remote controls with pre-set commands for the five official robot designs from Lego. As for the other apps, 3D Builder shows step-by-step 3D building instructions and Fix the Factory is a puzzle-based game that uses a basic robotics programming interface.

Lego Mindstorms EV3, the third generation of its popular consumer robotics platform in the past 15 years, will be available Sept. 1 at a suggested retail price of $349.99. Mindstorms kits are popular among hobbyists and students and have been credited with inspiring many present-day roboticists to become interested in the field.

Native language editions will be released for Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Spain and Denmark in addition to the previously available English, French, German and Dutch language versions.

[ image from Mindstorms Community Website ]